LOS ANGELES: NewsCorp's Fox Interactive Media, the controlling entity for number one social networking website MySpace, has been talking up the benefits of a new targeted advertising program.

A Merrill Lynch analysts' conference heard from FIM president Peter Levinsohn that MySpace is to offer advertisers "buckets" of its 110 million members based on information they provide on their own profiles.

He hypes: "We are blessed with a phenomenal amount of information about the likes, dislikes and life's passions of our users. We have an opportunity to provide advertisers with a completely new paradigm."

Adds Adam Bain, the chief technology officer at FIM: "Our targeting is a balance of what users say, what they do and what they say they do."

MySpace claims this new program - the brainchild of a 100-strong team of boffins - has boosted by an average of 80% the likelihood that members will click on an ad.

As a result, industry observers calculate that the site's monthly revenue could imminently rise from $40 million (€28.8m; £20m) to $70m.

Fox Interactive says several national advertisers have been trialling the service which has been shown to benefit some ads more than others. Clicks on tailored auto ads more than doubled and clicks on music ads jumped by 70%.

In addition, the company has recently experimented with 'hyper targeting', which further breaks down categories such as sports fans or film buffs.

Fox executives also hope the new technology will help MySpace regain some of the ground it has lost to rival Facebook.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff